The Temptations the Church Faces
The Lord Jesus Christ is Lord of everything. All authority has been given to him (Matthew 28:18), and he exercises that authority in this world through his word and through God-ordained structures of human authority. He exercises his authority for the purpose of bringing glory to the Father through making disciples of Himself.
1. Read 1 Peter 5:1-11
a. What are some of the restrictions that God places on Elders who hold authority in the local church?
b. What is the proper response of those who are underneath the Elder’s authority toward the Elders?
c. When church leadership and church membership fight with each other, what do they lack according to v.6.
d. Who is the real enemy that people who are fighting each other can easily forget about according to v.8.
e. If you resist the real enemy by Elders doing what God has called them to do and the church family doing what God has called them to do, what has God promised to do for his people in v.11?
f. Have you ever been in a situation where a local church family fogot who the real enemy was? What was it like to be a part of that situation?
2. Read Hebrew 4:11-16
a. How does Jesus exercise his authority (v.12) in this world to protect his people from “disobedience” (v.11)?
b. Are you going through or have you ever gone through a phase of neglect with respect to God’s Word?
c. What do vs. 13-16 encourage the believer to do if you are in a period of neglect?
3. Read Ephesians 4:11-16
a. What are the responsibilities of church officers according to this passage in v.11-14?
b. What are the responsibilities of the rest of the congregation in v.15-16?
c. Why are God’s people more confused now about what God’s word teaches than ever when so much information about God’s Word is readily accessible today?
d. How important is it to you that you continually work at clarifying God’s Word and what it means to yourself and to those you love the most? What are your greatest burdens regarding this? What are your greatest temptations?